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Brigette Nunez Professor Schmidgall Final paper Before the Fall comes Pride Pride is one thing that

all humans, men and women struggle with. We all fall short when it comes to our pride. We all can say that pride comes to all of us In disguise, we dont realize when we are struggling with it. Pride can come from many emotional roots. It can come from anger, hurt, pain, rejection, feelings of inferiority, etc. In literature, the theme of pride appears and shows readers many of the downfalls of pride and power. Take King Lear for example, a story filled with the defects of gaining pride and power. Paradise Lost by John Milton is another story that talks about the origin of where pride came from, from Satan himself. Stories like these illustrate the many characteristics and concepts of pride. Although many themes are present, pride is one theme that is manifested in Paradise Lost, King Lear and The Canterbury Tales. In Miltons Paradise Lost, many characteristics of pride are shown. Paradise Lost shows that when someone is prideful they refuse to change their ways. One of the biggest character in which pride is shown is Satan. Satan is the originator of sin and head of a rebellious team of angels. He was the first one to ever show pride. In book 1, Satan is having a meeting with all the other fallen angels in hell after being defeated once again by God in heaven. He is very proud of his army, so proud that he is shocked that they had

lost. Although his second-hand-in command Bezzelbub admits that God ultimately overpowers them, Satan still insists. He believes that they can still defeat him by turning his good works into evil. Satan was cast down of heaven because he wanted to be like God and made one third of the angels rebelled. Even after being cast down and defeated by God he still wont admit that he will never win. He insists on his fellow devils to continue doing evil over good although his followers are already tired. Book four of Paradise Lost also shows this characteristic. In book four Satan enters the Garden of Eden. He is able to see the beauty and innocence in the place and is immediately reminded of where he once used to be. Seeing the Garden makes him doubt his plan. He begins to doubt his plan so much that eventually he begins to think that perhaps he could be forgiven. Even after seeing the beauty of the creation of God he still will not bow down because of his pride. Another characteristic of pride according to these stories is refusing to admit that you are wrong. You can see this in Paradise Lost with Adam and Eve. When both Adam and Eve ate from the forbidden tree of knowledge, they made clothes for each other to cover up and then they hid from God. When it was time for God to find out what happened, both Adam and Eve were blaming themselves. They remained angry at each other instead of admitting their faults to God. God already knew what was going to happen and wasnt surprise neither yet they still didnt admit that they were wrong in disobeying him. Satan was another character who did not want to admit his faults. Beelzebub told him that Gods power was overwhelming, however, Satan did not want

to admit that he was weaker or even wrong for trying to battle an almighty God. He still believed he could defeat him and turn his works into evil. Another characteristic of pride that is shown in these books is stubbornness. King Lear was a King who was very proud of his kingdom and money. Once his authority and power became stripped away by his two daughters Goneril and Reagan, King Lear was thrown out of his kingdom, into the country in the middle of a storm. Ironically, the fool began to speak to King Lear about his two daughters. Through the fool we got to see the stubbornness in King Lear. He refused to listen to the fool when he told him it wasnt a good idea to give his power to Goneril and Reagan. King Lear probably thought he was a fool and disregarded his advice. Why should he, the King, listen to a fool like him about his decisions? He is the King. He knows best right? You can see this stubbornness also when Lear becomes mad. In the middle of the rainstorm, Kent comes across the king and his fool. Kent generously offers for the mad man and the not-so-fool a place to stay through the huge , dramatic storm. However, the stubborn Lear refuses to go with them and feels like he has reached a point of comfort in the storm. A characteristic of pride is also seen in The Canterbury Tales. Many of the characters in this tale try to hide their true selves. They hide this with pride. They claim that they are something when in reality they are not. One character that fits this description is the merchant. The merchant talks a lot about money. He worked in what we call today stock market and exchanges money. He is well attired with nice boots and a fur

hat. To others, he might be very impressive and rich however his pride doesnt make him reveal the fact that he is a merchant who is in debt. Many different concepts of pride are seen throughout the stories. One of them is pride being associated with superiority. While Satan was still an angel in Paradise Lost, he was able to witness the glory of Gods son and the superiorit y he had over the angels, including him. Satan did not honor the son as his superior. He wanted to be like God. Satan also became jealous of the chosen Adam and Eve because they received paradise and were favor by God while he wasnt. He did not think it was fair for them to receive paradise. Satan wanted to also imitate the kingdom of God by making his own kingdom in hell. The prideful one does not want to admit that God will always reign over all and be superior over all. In fact, he tries to find different ways in which he can become superior. Pride can also be associated with knowledge. In Paradise Lost, Satan tempted Eve in the dream and in reality using thirst for knowledge. He told her she can know everything if she just eats from the tree of knowledge. Adam is also a character that was hungry for knowledge. Raphael was talking to Adam and said, joy thou in what he give to thee, this paradise and thy fair eve, heavn is for the too high to know what passes there; be lowly wise: think only what concerns thee and thy being( 8. 170-4) . Adam wanted to know more than he was suppose to. The dichotomy of high and low underlines the difference between pride and humility. Knowing a lot can bring fourth pride because you feel like you know everything, therefore you dont need any help from anyone

especially any superior being such as God. With so much knowledge we can feel like we are too good however God is all knowing. This is the reason why sometimes we dont know everything and although we want to figure things out we cant. This is what makes God, God and humans sons and daughters. If we knew every answer to our problems we wouldnt need a God, a savior. This is the reason why Raphael told Adam to be content in what he knows and the reason why God doesnt allow us to know everything in all of our circumstances. Pride can also be associated with power. Much of King Lear dealt with the issue of power. Goneril, Reagan and Edmund were a few characters that were driven by power to do some devastating things. The more power you receive , the more pride. As King Lears power started to slowly be taken away from his two daughters so was his pride diminishing and humility began to appear. Pride, as seen in King Lear and Paradise Lost, can draw you to make foolish decisions. King Lear made a foolish decision onto picking Goneril and Reagan to take the kingdom. He only picked them because they were praising him and boosting his pride unlike Cordelia.. Eventually, Cordelia was the one that he shouldve picked because she was honest with her emotions and did not have the same evil motives that Goneril and Reagan had. He made a decision based on those who will boost his pride. Adam and Eve made the foolish decision of eating from the fruit of knowledge. Their pride of knowing more led them to disobedience towards God and has cause a curse to all humanity.

Through The Canterbury Tales readers can see that money and pride go hand in hand. Characters like the Merchant, the Pardoner, the Franklin, and the physician are a few examples. The merchant seems like he has a lot of money and talks about it often yet he is in debt. The pardoner takes pride in what he does which is to preach to the people in church yet he does it for money. The Franklin is a wealthy farmer who possesses land not of noble birth and the physician gets his knowledge not from medicine but from astrology. He is acquainted with medical authorities but doesnt read scripture and his assistant claims his favorite medicine is money. Pride eventually leads to the fall. Satan is one important character that illustrates this. Satan was very prideful and desired to be higher than God which is the reason why he was cast down on earth. King Lear was once prideful, however, once his power was taken away, he went through a humbling experience. Regan ended up ill and Edmund got arrested. Pride manifested in these three books Paradise Lost, King Lear and The Canterbury Tales. They all have many different characteristics of what pride is. When someone is prideful they can become stubborn just like King Lear. It is very hard to admit your mistakes and change your ways once pride comes in. Pride can be associated with many things as seen in these stories. It can come with money, power and knowledge. It can also lead to your fall. Pride can be use to hide many things including your true self. It is a veil that can sometimes be unrecognizable and can stray us from truth and humility. Hopefully, we can humble ourselves before the fall.